Haunted soul flits the sky, finding fault in the perfect clouds
Polishing in vain the nimbus trails, looking for hidden silver
Breath stifles over and over, yet I keep searching
Staleness scalds me like poison
Yet everything gets stale, after a while
Boring, dull, disengaging, yuck
Restless vines climb up my spine
My eyes searching, searching
Dull aches like a tuning fork twang
The jaundice spreads like wildfire
Starting from my fingertips
Contaminating everything, far and wide
What do you want? I scream at the clouds
And they echo, taunting me: What do you want? …
Frankly, I am stunned beyond belief.
Last year, when I first got an inkling that this might be the case, I backed right off. In fact, I gave things a very properly sized break of 17 months.
And yet, it happened again. And now there can be no doubt.
I first read Penelope Lively’s work as part of a book club offering in March 2020. Moon Tiger, the book was called. It was a Booker winner.
The book took me by storm. Well, not so much the characters or the plot.
To be fair, the characters were strong, and the…
The change is so subtle that it is unnoticeable at first.
The beach balls are still bobbing, the sandcastles still upright. The beer still being steadily chugged.
But something is different now.
The sun steadily purples its way down, the orange horizon finally cresting over yonder side.
The night is beginning to come to life.
One of the children notices it first.
As the stone gargoyles inhale their first breaths, their eyes glitter like diamonds. The child cries out in fear, sobbing insistently at the sight, her nightmares freshly ignited all over again.
The mother hushes her, telling her they…
How did it feel, clarity’s insistent pounding on my feeble heart’s door?
Before that fateful day, I could have sworn it would be terrifying.
That letting go of the love of my life would be devastating. That it would feel like being ripped apart, and I would feel the jagged edges of my broken heart every moment of every day henceforth, with no respite ever.
I was so wrong.
It felt entirely the opposite.
It felt like liberation.
I remember walking slowly down the steps of our penthouse apartment, the horrible words slung at me churning my insides like a…
Who rivers outside my window?
It is I, madame, lady of the night, woman of the soil.
It is I, who keens dusk to twilight.
Swept up under the fronds of the palms, it is I you see quietly stepping back into the shadows.
I am watching you.
I spend my days eyes wide open hungering for the prussian night.
Hungering still, for the smell of jasmine, yes, those flowers you wore just for yourself.
I was watching then.
I am watching now.
I see the contours of your dimples as you wait in anticipation.
I measure the depth and…
There are days when it seems like the only objective of the world’s existence is to annoy you.
Like days when you are saturated with an overdose of pillowcases.
A disease really, afflicting society from top to bottom. Pointing to so many evils lurking beneath the surface.
What is the overdose of pillowcases — you ask?
Why, this curious phenomenon, of course! I say.
Every time you buy a sheet, a comforter, a duvet, or anything remotely related to a bed, it comes with 2 pillowcases.
Until, well after you are sufficiently stocked up, you realize you have too many…
There was once an ant called Phil
By temperament he was quite tranquil
One day Phil caught a fever
He needed a fast reliever
So, Phil was put to bed with some Nyquil
Charlotte was the mafia queen of Village Spider
She rarely gave a raise, was quite the miser
Her employees were filled with hate
They didn’t feel the slightest distaste
When Charlotte was gobbled up by a cat called Schneider
There was once a child who hated crickets
Seeing them, she would run into thickets
One day behind her there was a creak
The child jumped high with a shriek
Berkeley grad, is how he introduced her
to all his friends and family
Saying, implicitly, this is the reason why
she’s in my life, this is the reason why
you should meet her, see her, know her
Saying, implicitly, this is her worth,
not some of it, but all of it
Berkeley grad, this is why she
should be acknowledged, should be loved
Nothing else she’s done is enough
She bleeds — it’s not worth it
She writes — it’s not worth it
She fights for the world — it’s not worth it
She dies for beliefs — it’s not…
You have memories that aren’t yours.
Other-worldly, they sing to you. They cry to you sometimes. But mostly they just beckon.
Come, they say, come back to us.
You remember being a particle-wave, a light being, floating dreamily across, drifting, warping the continuum, until all you can do is laugh at the twin jokes of space and time.
And yes, how you laughed.
But silly, greedy you, you always want more.
You hunger for the senses you chose to leave behind. You lust again for what was once yours, and once given up.
You gave it all up willingly then…